Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
In the second of Tundra's Great Idea series, biographies for children who are just starting to read, Monica Kulling presents the life of an extraordinary man.
There were few opportunities for the son of slaves, but Elijah McCoy's dreams led him to study mechanical engineering in Scotland. He learned everything there was to know about engines - how to design them and how to build them. But when he returned to the United States to look for work at the Michigan Central Railroad, the only job Elijah could get was shoveling coal into a train's firebox.
Undaunted, he went on to invent a means of oiling the engine while the train was running, changing the face of travel around the world.
With playful text and lively illustrations, All Aboard! Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine may be the first biography a child discovers, and it will whet the appetite for many more.
About the authors
Monica Kulling is the author of over forty books for children, including the popular Great Idea series, stories of inventors. The third book in the series, In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up, was nominated for the 2012 Governor General’s Award for illustration and chosen as the 2012 Simon Wiesenthal Honor Book. In addition, Monica’s work has been nominated for numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Her recent picture books include Lumpito and the Painter from Spain and Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at www.monicakulling.com.
Bill Slavin has illustrated over sixty books for children, including Stanley's Party, Stanley's Wild Ride, Stanley at Sea, Transformed and The Farm Team. He lives in Millbrook, Ontario, with his wife, their cat, two rabbits, five squirrels and a family of cardinals.
"When I read Monica Kulling's retelling of the life of Elijah McCoy I felt the same sense of wonder and curiosity that I first experienced when I was initially introduced to this enigmatic, inventive, and charismatic figure. Bill Slavin's images are absolutely beautiful. My daughters LOVE it."
— Andrew Moodie, author of The Real McCoy
“an engaging biography of the African-American inventor . . . The narrative includes fictionalized dialogue and clear explanations about how the machinery works and concludes with an inspiring message . . .”
— School Library Journal
All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine (Great Idea)Elijah McCoy, the son of slaves, dreamed of studying mechanical engineering. In Scotland he learned everything there was to know about engines, from designing them to building them. When he returned to the United States, the only job Elijah could find was shovelling coal into a train’s firebox. Frustrated with having to stop the train to oil the engine, Elijah invented an oil cup that oiled the engine while the train was running.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.
Other titles by Monica Kulling
A Story of How the Famous “Migrant Mother” Photograph Became the Face of the Great Depression
How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children
Mary Anning's Curiosity
To the Rescue! Garrett Morgan Underground
Great Ideas Series
Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni's Ice Machine
Great Idea Series
Zap! Nikola Tesla Takes Charge
Happy Birthday, Alice Babette
Grant and Tillie Go Walking
The Tweedles Go Online
Other titles by Bill Slavin
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